Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 6/12/95

*** Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh reviews are a chronological look back at WWE PPV and TV history that began with a review of WrestleMania I. The PICs have revisited these events and refreshed all of their fun facts that provide insight into the match, competitors and state of the company as well as their overviews of the match action and opinions and thoughts on the outcomes. In addition, Jeff Jarvis assists in compiling historical information and the Fun Facts in each of the reviews. Also, be sure to leave feedback on the reviews at our Facebook page. Enjoy! ***

Monday Night Raw #115

June 12, 1995 (Taped June 5, 1995)
Struthers High School
Struthers, OH
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

1) Bam Bam Bigelow defeats Duane Gill with the diving headbutt at 2:00

Scott: Man, we haven’t seen Duane Gill in ages. Bam Bam Bigelow is in the main event of the KOTR show, but he easily could have been a tournament competitor and won it. Perhaps if Sid eventually wins the World Title from Diesel and Bigelow challenges him? Speaking of the WWF Champion he is on the phone with Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler while this squash is going on. It’s more focus of Diesel’s elbow rehab and Sid maybe destroying it at the PPV. Bigelow wins. Grade: DUD

JT: Welcome to another installment of Monday Night Raw, where we are coming at you via videotape from Struthers, OH, just weeks away from the third annual King of the Ring. Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler have the call for us tonight as usual and we waste little time in heading to the ring for our opening contest where Bam Bam Bigelow power walks out, flames-a-blazing to take on the erstwhile Duane Gill. Vince and King put over KOTR and talk about Bigelow’s big main event match there as he teams with Diesel against Sid and Tatanka. As the match chugs along, Diesel dials in to chat with Vince and King about his rehabbing elbow injury and they talk about whether he is pushing it to get back in the ring too soon. Diesel says he is WWF Champion and he has to be there to support Bammer and get a shot at Sid. He is aware of what could happen but it is worth it for a chance to Jackknife Sid. Diesel heads off to keep working at prepping for KOTR as Bigelow nabs the win with the diving headbutt. Usual squash here but this was well served to catch us up with Diesel’s status. Grade: DUD

*** We visit with WWF newcomer Waylon Mercy, who is hanging around on some rocks. He enjoys nature and worms but he doesn’t like worms crawling on him, just like he doesn’t want wrestlers touching him in the ring. And like the worm on his arm, he will squash any wrestlers that get in his way… you know what he means? ***

*** Barry Didinsky is backstage with the Mad Capper and the Smoking Gunns playing WWF Mat Caps. You can get a special gold WWF mat cap and playing board with an order tonight! Get in on it! ***

2) Kama defeats David Haskins with a belly-to-belly suplex at 2:09

Scott: We get the first Raw vignette for a character named Waylon Mercy, which seems like a Max Cady type gimmick from Cape Fear. Interesting, it seems like a pretty deep character for 1995 WWF. But perhaps not. It’s obviously Dan Spivey but that’s ok. This isn’t Doink or Mantaur. This type of gimmick could be one you think about. As for this match, Kama is getting stalked by the Undertaker’s Creatures of the Night at ringside, complete with black wreaths. Similar to what happened with Mr. Hughes two years earlier. Kama wins, but a match with Taker is clearly on the horizon. Grade: DUD

JT: We head back down to the ring as Kama and Ted DiBiase come walking out for a match with David Haskins. Kama still has that gold chain draped around his neck, forged from the Undertaker’s urn months ago. We get some talk about the KOTR tournament and then pan to the crowd where we see the Creatures of the Night sitting in the crowd, an ominous sign of the Undertaker’s presence. Vince promotes Mr. Mom, this week’s USA Movie, airing Thursday night. Jerry Lawler also talks some shit on Bret Hart and their Kiss My Foot match and we get some foot puns from both announcers as Kama mauls and defeats Haskins. After the match Kama gets in the faces of the Creatures and then destroys the black wreath they had placed at ringside. The heat continue to intensify in this rivalry. Grade: DUD

*** Todd Pettengill is in the house with this week’s King of the Ring Report. We are just under two weeks away and here are the matches discussed:

Diesel & Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Sid & Tatanka
Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler – Kiss My Foot Match
Undertaker vs. Mabel – King of the Ring Opening Round Match
Shawn Michaels vs. Kama – King of the Ring Opening Round Match

Bob Holly vs. Roadie – King of the Ring Opening Round Match
Razor Ramon vs. TBD – King of the Ring Opening Round Match

There you have it, that is the full slate, plus the later rounds of the KOTR tournament, of course. Be sure to order now so you won’t miss out! ***

3) Man Mountain Rock defeats Bob Cook with the Whammy Bar at 1:04

Scott: We had our KOTR Report with Todd going over everything, and to be honest those brackets seem, well somewhat thin of talent. I mean there’s Razor Ramon, Shawn Michaels and Undertaker who are obviously the favorites. Interesting what they attempt to do with this bracket. This match is trash, but the guitar stuff is fun. Grade: DUD

JT: Next up in the ring, we have another appearance from Man Mountain Rock. MMR shreds the guitar in the ring for a little mini-concert before his match with Bob Cook. It was actually a pretty cool touch to have him do that before his match. Vince puts over MMR’s in ring and music skills as he makes very swift work of the rotund Cook. Vince reminds us that Bob Backlund has threatened to confront MMR here tonight to prevent him from playing his evil rock music. MMR gets the win with the Whammy Bar and celebrates a bit but no sign of Mr. Backlund just yet. Grade: DUD

*** Stephanie Wiand has an update on this year’s WWF Hall of Fame ceremony, going down in Philadelphia on King of the Ring weekend. Here is the full slate of inductees: Antonino Rocca, Ernie Ladd, Ivan Putski, Fabulous Moolah, Pedro Morales and Grand Wizard. ***

*** Backstage, Bob Backlund is stalking around looking for Man Mountain Rock and stumbles across Rock’s guitar, which he drops on the ground. He then rants and raves about the effect rock ‘n’ roll music has had on the world and affected children in school. 

4) Tekno Team 2000 defeats John Chrystal & Mike Khoury when Travis pins Khoury with a high cross body at 3:25

Fun Fact: We get the debut of Tekno Team 2000 as a new tag team this evening. Chad Fortune (Travis) and Erik Watts (Troy) started off as football teammates for the University of Louisville. Both of them later got into professional wrestling and were reunited in 1994 as a tag team. They began their careers in the AWA, but were later signed by the WWF in 1995. They made their debut at Madison Square Garden on March 19, 1995 where they defeated the Heavenly Bodies.

Scott: Who the hell are these guys? Well. at least we have another tag team to battle for Owen & Yoko’s belts. Is that Erik Watts? My god, it is Erik Watts. Yikes, I totally forgot about that. Their gimmick names are Travis & Troy. They work halfway decent in the ring, and they get the victory. Are they faces or heels? I can’t tell what any of this is about. Grade: 1/2*

JT: Back to the ring we go as a newcomer team, Tekno Team 2000, hits the ring for their debut match. Travis and Troy are slated to battle old friends John Chrystal and Mike Khoury as the WWF continues to refresh the roster and mix new faces into the fray. Troy and Khoury start off as Vince says we hope to hear from MMR later on about what happened to his guitar at the hands of Bob Backlund. King then takes his weekly shots at Helen Hart as the boys from the future continue to dominate the action with some pretty basic offense. These guys certainly have the look and the tag division does need some depth but the gimmick is kind of odd and they aren’t all that smooth in the ring. I just realized these goofs are wrestling in jean shorts with dress belts so either their gear got fucked with or they were trying for some sort of distinct look to make them stand out. Troy slams Khoury and Travis flies off the top rope with a cross body to pick up the win. Decent debut but we will see if these guys amount to anything going forward. Grade: DUD

*** Man Mountain Rock is sitting at his locker shocked and sad about what Bob Backlund did to his prized guitar. Rock vows revenge and says things have now become personal. ***

5) Yokozuna defeats Lex Luger in a King of the Ring Qualifying Match via countout at 7:57

Scott: Vince just said that Razor Ramon injured his ribs over the weekend at a house show at Nassau Coliseum. They are really pumping up this match as a feud two years in the making, going back to July 4,1993 and the Intrepid Slam, the botched match at SummerSlam and the disappointment at WrestleMania X. Is this the match where Luger finally wins a match clean on a big stage, and perhaps becomes the favorite in the KOTR tournament? Luger takes control for most of the match with Yoko missing moves, until Luger is distracted by Mr. Fuji and Yoko blindsides him. Yoko takes control with chokes and of course the nerve pinch. Luger tried to elbow out of it but that didn’t happen. These guys’ tag team partners (Bulldog & Owen) are backstage so this is straight up. Luger finally starts gaining an advantage until Mr. Fuji goes after Luger’s flag bearer (wrestler Scotty Anton) and takes the USA Flag. Luger gets the flag back to Anton but Yokozuna attacks Luger outside and throws him into the post, then a leg drop on the outside. Yoko gets back in the ring and Luger is counted out. What a horrendous ending to this one. Luger looks like a fucking chump again and Yoko will face Razor in the first round on June 25. The match wasn’t bad but the ending is putrid. Grade: **

JT: Time for our final bout of the evening as we head to the ring to finally fill the remaining KOTR slot. We saw British Bulldog and Owen Hart go to a draw last week, so their tag team partners now get a crack and heading to Philly to face Razor Ramon. Vince does inform us that Ramon injured his ribs at a live event over the weekend, so he will be dinged up come KOTR. I thought they did a nice job hyping this match both last week and this week, really focusing on the deep history between these two rivals. It added even extra heat to an already high stakes match. After Yoko and his entourage hit the ring, Lex Luger comes out flanked by his flag bearer, local Atlanta wrestler Scott Anton, a man that has admired Luger for years according to Vince. The crowd rallies up a big “USA” chant as Lex paces around the ring before the bell. We finally get going with Yoko controlling the action, opening with a big slam but Lex dodges an elbow drop and tries to work the arm. Lex keeps hammering away, eventually knocking Yoko out to the floor, a spot which Vince reminds us was reminiscent of SummerSlam 1993. Yoko would return and Lex kept clobbering him until Mr. Fuji gets in lex’s face, allowing Yoko to drill him from behind. Fuji is always poor Lex’s kryptonite. Yoko got really aggressive here, battering Luger without abandon and then choking away. After  break, Yoko cut off a comeback attempt but came up empty on an avalanche splash. Luger went back to work with shoulder tackles before dropping Yoko with a flurry of forearm blows and clotheslines to a big pop. As Lex fired up for the death blow, Fuji went over and smacked Anton and took away the American flag. That drew out Luger to lay out Cornette and take back the flag for Anton, but Yoko took advantage and slung Lex into the post. He followed that up with a leg drop and then slid inside for the count out win. I was just thinking that Lex was looking good here, seemed energetic and the crowd was hyped up… and then we get that. Yet again. Lex can’t keep his hands off Fuji and it costs him a big match. In an already disappointing year for Luger, this may be the final blow to end him as an sort of player. He chokes again. The match was actually kind of fun as the chemistry between these two was evident and the crowd was dialed in too. The finish shit all over that though. Yokozuna heads to Philly and a shot to be a surprising King of the Ring. Grade: **

*** After a break, we check out Jerry Lawler’s special King of the Ring training footage, which includes him walking around barefoot in his stables, stepping through all sorts of dirt and horse shit. We then head back to Superstars this past weekend where Lawler defeated Aldo Montoya and then shoved his foot in Aldo’s mouth after the match. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: What is up with these trash Qualifier endings? Can’t Luger just win the damn thing? They must have totally lost faith in him, even though he didn’t get pinned. Getting counted out like that make you look like a total putz. Some of these gimmicks right now are utterly ridiculous, like Man Mountain Rock. Nice WWF guitar, but he’s terrible in the ring. This Taker storyline with the urn is idiotic too. This new tag team could work out but they look like morons in their outfits. And it’s Erik Watts. At least he’s in a tag team. This episode isn’t as bad as last week’s but it’s pretty close. Diesel on the phone? YOUR WWF CHAMPION MUST BE ON TV. FINAL GRADE: D+

JT: Just like last week, while the actual wrestling product is starting to swirl down the bowl at a quicker pace, the production and presentation of the program continues to improve and carry the show. The pacing, audio mixing and sweetening and overall presentation has been quite good and it makes the shows feel brisk and effective, despite the actual meat of the show turning more and more sour. The roster is really starting to thin out and the effects of misuse of the actual name stars are now showing all over the place. The KOTR tournament could have really been loaded this year but instead it is an odd mishmash and the way the brackets are set up make you wonder just what the hell the show will bring us. Add on a really blasé main event and a Kiss My Foot match that nobody wants to see and the PPV card is not exactly bringing lots of anticipation. They are trying hard to overhaul the roster but these gimmicks are not exactly wowing the imagination either. And even if they are working a bit, none of them have main event level potential. Yet again, the show was pretty easy to watch but there just isn’t much to get excited about, unless you enjoy Lex Luger being made to look like an idiot over and over. Until next week… Final Grade: D+

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